In case you haven’t heard, today is National Cartoonists Day. It’s been pretty hard to miss with all the National Cartoonists Day sales at the Mall. I think government workers get the day off too.
Seriously, here’s the scoop: The Yellow Kid, the very first color comic strip, was first published today (May 5) in 1895. Gradually the comics became a staple in every newspaper in the country, and hence today has been designated as National Cartoonists Day. Although the internet revolution has created an uncertain future for comic strips, it’s hard to dismiss the impact they’ve had on American culture. I grew up on classics such as Bloom County, The Far Side, and Calvin and Hobbes. Maybe later today I’ll pull out one of my old paperback collections and read through it for old times sake. My hunch is the humor will still hold up strong.
Of course, cartooning goes far beyond the newspaper funny pages. Animation, greeting cards, children’s books, illustration, even toy and game design, are all heavily saturated with the work of talented cartoonists.
So don’t forget to hug a cartoonist and tell them how much you appreciate them!